In response to your recent Sunday feature, The KLASS of 2012 Will Be The Last (April 29, North Shore News), I want to relate my experience as a parent. My son is graduating from Keith Lynn this year. He did it, albeit a year late, but he finished Grade 12.
His problems in school began in about Grade 4. There were some behavioural problems and a lack of motivation. We thought he had a learning disability, so we had him tested. It turned out he was quite clever, but we realized mainstream school was not for him.
We looked for options. We knew of Keith Lynn alternate secondary, but were concerned about its reputation, so we did some research.
After an informative interview with principal Michelle Henderson, we decided that Keith Lynn was the right "fit" for our son. The plan was to have him complete Grade 8 there, catch up, and then move him to mainstream school for Grade 9. He chose to stay at Keith Lynn.
Some behavioural problems persisted, but with the program, the extra help and the dedication of many teachers - thank you Sara, Kat, Carole and Catherine, to name a few - he made it, completing the Grade 11/12 program this year.
He has grown into a charming young man with plans to enter trade school. We are thankful every day that there were alternatives for his education. Every single staff member at Keith Lynn deserves praise for their tolerance and encouragement for these students who otherwise may have gone down a different path in their lives. This program must continue, and it must be housed somewhere.
Let me say this to the residents who have concerns about having these promising young students in their neighbourhood next year: We have a second child attending a mainstream secondary school in North Vancouver. Pick up and drop off at her school is nothing short of a gong show. There are so many parents driving their kids to and from school that there is a three-or four light wait at the nearby intersection.
Most Keith Lynn students walk or take transit as this is their only means of getting there. Keith Lynn is in my neighborhood and all I see is kids coming to school and leaving at the end of the day. Some may have purple hair and piercings but that doesn't bother me. They are not breaking into our homes or harassing kids at the nearby elementary school.
No one is forcing these kids to go to school; they want to be there to learn and complete their education so they can become productive, successful, happy adults.
That's what we all want for our kids, isn't it?
Heather Hunter North Vancouver